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Old 10-13-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
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Light for engine heater switch

Winnebago did a good job on their energy management panel by having lights or gauges on the generator, water pump switch, water heater switch, propane water heater, amps in usage, house and chassis battery voltage, but why didn't they put a light on the engine heater switch so it would draw attention when it is turned on?

Since they didn't, has anyone installed some sort of light to indicate when its on and if so would it be a 12V light or 110V light? Would it be very difficult to hook up a light to the wires behind the switch cover? I haven't had too much trouble leaving it on but have done so all day after moving to a new campground after having it on during the night before. Just don't want to unnecessarily burn it up.

Thanks

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Old 10-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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I added "pilot lights" to both the engine heater switch and water heater switch in 2006 ...on my coach both are dark cover 120v switchplates mounted near the ceiling, and hard to see in the dimly lighted hallway, especially with the ol' bi-focals. I bought a two-pack of "NEON MINI-LAMPS" at Radio Shack (I presume I got 120v bulbs since that is that the wiring is for both switches in my MH), drilled a hole in the botton of the switchplate, pressed the wires from the mini-lamps into the 120v connections (after some experimentation to figure out where to connect them), and they work great! The one on the WH switch of course has been used a lot more than the engine heater and sometimes glows somewhat weakly ...might be wearing out? As I recall, the two-pack cost was around $3.50.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:16 AM   #3
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Wagonmaster,

I'm doing mine now,one is in and works great. Go to one of the large hardware stores, Ace-Lowes,etc. or if you have an electrical supply house nearby. I found mine at Menards. Purchase a 120v off/on light switch that has the indicator light built-in just above the switch and a cover plate comes with it. Also, you will need a shallow wall box used for repairs. They have the little cleats on the side that tighten to the panelling. If you can't find one there go to a mobile home supply house or the internet. I had 2, from another repair, I got several years ago at HomeDepot. All thats left is to connect the wires. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys, sounds like a very doeable project. My electric water heater switch is big as the first joint of your thumb and the whole thing lights up while that silly little lever for the engine heater not only doesn't have any kind of light but it is so small its hard to see whether its up or down. Definitely needs a good light.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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Old 10-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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My engine heater switch is a rocker type, I think it is 110V since the engine heater is pluged into a 110 outlet in the bay. The rocker itself is lighted when turned on so it is an easy visual to see if it is on or off. I would go to Home Depot or Lowes and find a lighted switch. Mine switch is the same as ones used inside the home. I assume that all engine heater switches were lighted, sure makes it easy to see if it is on by accident.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Our engine heater switch is also a house like switch. Great ideas for an indicator. Thanks!

The water heater is a plain rocker but the water heater switch from LP to 110V looks like a lighted one. It doesn't light in either position though. Think it is burned out or not the right switch?
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:58 PM   #7
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One is 12V one is 120V

Wagonmaster ...

We have a 39W 2004 Journey ... on our rig both of the switches that you mention are
a) hidden behind the doors above the washer/dryer cupboard
b) the hot water heater switch is 12V
c) the engine block heater switch is 120V

For the electric hot water heater ... I have put a 12V LED (Radio Shack) on the wall beside the doors where it is visible ... I fished a wire from the yellow wire (switched) side of the hot water switch ... I found the white neutral on the floor behind the drawer under the washer/dryer cabinet. It took some expermentation because my first thought the hot water heater switch was 120V .. but tracing the wire (via the printed code on the wire) helped me determine that it was 12V

The engine block heater is a bit more complicated ... it is 120V ... and it is actually the switch for an outlet down in the power bay ... the engine block heater is plugged into this outlet. I have not installed any light on that switch ... I use a low tech method ... I have a snap clothespin that I have painted RED ... whenever I have the engine block heater ON I put the red snap clothespin on my ignition key ... (I have a WHITE snap clothespin for the TV antenna ... it is on the antenna crank when the antenna is stowed ... and on the ignition key when the antenna is UP)
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD4Mark View Post
Our engine heater switch is also a house like switch. Great ideas for an indicator. Thanks!

The water heater is a plain rocker but the water heater switch from LP to 110V looks like a lighted one. It doesn't light in either position though. Think it is burned out or not the right switch?
Here's a link to an earlier post of mine describing how to replace the illuminated water heater switch: 110 volt water heater switch...
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